Wednesday 13 December 2017

Minimum suspension for breaking Red Hand star's jaw

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

A TYRONE club footballer involved in the off-the-ball incident that saw inter-county star Joe McMahon's jaw broken in two places has received just the minimum four-week suspension.

McMahon also lost several teeth in the incident in the first round of the county league in mid-April, when his club Omagh St Enda's were playing Moortown.

The Tyrone County Board launched an investigation and the Irish Independent has learned that as a result, Moortown player Martin McGuigan has received a four-week ban for 'striking'.

McMahon was stretchered off the pitch and taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry where he needed surgery for his injuries.

He has not played football since, although he was named on the Tyrone bench for last weekend's Ulster SFC win over Monaghan.

At the time, Tyrone county chairman Ciaran McLaughlin described it as "a shocking incident" and said: "We need to contain occurrences like this. Everyone goes out to play football and wants to be able to get up for work the next morning."

The Omagh St Enda club's only comment on the matter was an initial posting on their website noting that their International Rules star was "felled during an incident which was not witnessed by match officials."

Asked why just a minimum four-week suspension was handed down, Tyrone secretary Dominic McCaughey said that "the player was reported for striking."

He said that, as is usual in club games, there were no other neutral officials at the game apart from the referee and there was no match video, but revealed that the referee, in his match report, had reported the player for striking "based on what was reported to him by the (injured) player (McMahon)."

McMahon was not used last Sunday but his selection indicates that he could be ready to start in the Ulster semi-final on June 26.

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